resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
November, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 11
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Did you look forward to going to work today? Were you attentive as you made up your table for your first client? Were you genuinely pleased to see that client come through the door? How about at the end of the day - were you just as pleased to see your last client of the day enter your place of business?
My guess is that if you're in your first year of practice, you answered, "yes" to all of these questions.If you're in your fifth year, it is probably less likely that your "yes" was quite as enthusiastic. If you've been practicing 10, 15 or 20 or more years, you might have to pause and think before answering. The premise I am using in all my following observations is that maintaining excitement and freshness in our practice is in our own best interest and the best interest of our clients.
Certainly a number of factors influence your specific responses to these questions. One factor is the body mechanics of the practitioner. I doubt you would look forward to caring for one more client if your own body was in pain from poor body mechanics. Another factor might be client load. More clients per day than your stamina can allow tends to lessen your ability to appropriately focus on additional clients. Likewise, too few clients may mean too much time on your hands, causing boredom.
I'm writing about the topic of excitement because I have observed a subtle change in the massage therapists I have encountered in the past month. The one thing that has changed seems to be the higher stress level of the typical client, the result no doubt of current world situations. In the week following September 11th, I noticed that massage therapists fell into two major groupings. The first had to force themselves to go to work. They preferred to stay in the apparent security of their homes, and they didn't want to see their clients or hear their clients' "petty" complaints of neck/back/shoulder discomfort when people were desperately wandering New York City with pictures of lost family members. The second group couldn't wait to get to work. They looked forward to spending time in an environment where they knew they could effectively participate in something. I'm not making value judgments about either group, as each was just responding to their own coping mechanisms and skills. Certainly if either of the coping methods were to continue, it would be problematic. The first group's practices would quickly dwindle because of lack of interest. The second group's practices also would likely diminish, because the therapeutic relationship would change to benefit the therapist instead of the client. As you know, clients don't like that much!
The higher client stress levels seem to have encouraged the therapists I know to reinvigorate themselves to help others cope. Hopefully this will reignite the fire of excitement these therapists have for their practices.
If the premise is that maintaining excitement and freshness in our practice is in the best interests of both our clients and ourselves, it behooves us to consider more of the things that aid that process. With job excitement, you believe that your work will be satisfying in the long run; you care about the quality of your work; and you are more committed to the therapist/client relationship and the profession as a whole.
An internet web search brings up much (and frequently conflicting) information on job excitement and satisfaction. However, there are many constants in this information that are directly attributable to a career in massage therapy. The "essence" of job satisfaction is to:
I certainly get all of these in my clinical practice! I can't imagine a massage setting that doesn't allow for all three of these items to occur regularly. Job satisfaction is not synonymous with complacency, but with enthusiasm! With enthusiasm, you can tackle each Monday morning with drive and ambition. Enthusiasm also minimizes the negatives that are always present in varying degrees. With enthusiasm, even negatives can be turned into opportunities for satisfaction. As an emotion, negative is stronger than positive: dissatisfaction seems to be more motivating than satisfaction. In our practices, this is manifested by our clients' reacting more visibly and immediately (e.g., booking appointments) to pain and/or dysfunction than to a pleasant stimulus.
Another "truism" of job satisfaction is that most workers like their work more if there is little minute-by-minute supervision of tasks. Massage therapy, in a treatment room environment, provides the practitioner such autonomy.
Our work has frequently been termed "intuitive." To a large extent, I think the better therapists among us have honed their intuitive skills to a high degree. However, I think that much of our job satisfaction is related to education. Education gives us the confidence to proceed to our full capacities, and enables us to expand our abilities. It makes it possible to become even more excited about our work. I don't know about you, but the more I learn, the more intuitive I become!
Some textbook-like issues that are particularly applicable to our profession infer that job excitement benefits from:
Right now, America needs us to be at the top of our game. It needs us to be looking forward to Monday morning. The tensions and stresses inherent in war, threats of war, invisible enemies and the unknown, make our unique skills more important now than they have ever been in the past. The strides that the industry had made in the past decades to educate consumers is now paying off as worried individuals seek out our services and abilities.
I'd love to hear how you keep your excitement level up. Please share your thoughts with others in our "We Get Letters & Email" section. And I hope every one of us can honestly answer "yes" to each of my opening paragraph questions!
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue of Massage Today. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to the address listed below:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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